The fashion and luxury industry is dominated by several major corporations that have established themselves as leaders in the market. These conglomerates have diversified their portfolios to include a wide range of high-end brands, catering to various segments within the luxury market. Some of the most important fashion corporations in the industry are LVMH, Kering, Ralph Lauren, PVH, Prada Group, Richemont and Luxottica Group.
LVMH: LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy), the world’s largest luxury goods conglomerate, is headquartered in New York, N.Y., U.S. and controls around 60 subsidiaries that manage 75 prestigious brands, with a presence in all five major sectors of the luxury market: Wines & Spirits, Fashion & Leather Goods, Perfumes & Cosmetics, Watches & Jewelry, and Selective Retailing. LVMH’s portfolio includes iconic brands such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Givenchy, and Christian Dior, among others.
Some of the most iconic brands under LVMH’s umbrella include:
- Tiffany & Co. is a renowned luxury design house founded in 1837 in New York City, known for its innovative jewelry design, extraordinary craftsmanship, and unparalleled creativity. The brand specializes in diamond and sterling silver jewelry, with a focus on exceptional gemstones.
- Christian Dior was a French couturier who founded his eponymous fashion house in the mid-20th century. Known for introducing the “New Look” in 1947, Dior’s creations celebrated ultra-femininity and opulence in women’s fashion, dominating the world of couture for a decade following World War II.
- Fendi is an Italian luxury fashion house established in Rome in 1925 by Adele and Edoardo Fendi. The brand is synonymous with tradition, experimentation, and daring creativity, specializing in fur, ready-to-wear, leather goods, shoes, fragrances, eyewear, timepieces, and accessories.
- Givenchy is a prestigious French fashion house known for its elegant and sophisticated designs in haute couture, ready-to-wear, and accessories. Founded by Hubert de Givenchy in 1952, the brand has become a symbol of refined luxury and timeless style.
- Marc Jacobs is an iconic American fashion designer whose eponymous brand is known for its eclectic and contemporary designs. Established in 1984, the brand offers a wide range of products, including clothing, accessories, fragrances, and cosmetics.
- Stella McCartney is a British fashion designer recognized for her modern, sustainable, and ethical approach to fashion. Her namesake brand, launched in 2001, offers luxury womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, and accessories that are both stylish and environmentally conscious.
- Loewe is a Spanish luxury fashion house founded in 1846, known for its expertise in leather goods, ready-to-wear, and accessories. The brand combines traditional craftsmanship with contemporary design, creating timeless pieces that exude sophistication and elegance.
- Loro Piana is an Italian luxury brand specializing in high-quality cashmere and wool products. Established in 1924, the company offers a range of clothing, accessories, and home textiles that embody refined elegance and exceptional craftsmanship.
- Kenzo is a French fashion house founded by Japanese designer Kenzo Takada in 1970. Known for its vibrant colors, bold patterns, and unique designs, the brand offers a fusion of Asian and European influences in its clothing, accessories, and fragrances.
- Celine is a French luxury fashion house established in 1945, known for its minimalist and sophisticated designs in ready-to-wear, leather goods, and accessories. The brand focuses on creating timeless pieces that exude modern elegance and effortless style.
- Sephora is a leading global beauty retailer offering a wide range of cosmetics, skincare, haircare, and fragrance products from various brands. Founded in France in 1970, Sephora has become a go-to destination for beauty enthusiasts worldwide.
- Princess Yachts is a British luxury yacht manufacturer known for its exquisite craftsmanship, innovative design, and unparalleled performance. Established in 1965, the company produces a range of motor yachts that cater to the discerning tastes of yacht enthusiasts.
- TAG Heuer is a Swiss luxury watchmaker founded in 1860, renowned for its precision timepieces and innovative designs. The brand offers a range of watches, chronographs, and smartwatches that combine cutting-edge technology with timeless style.
- Bulgari is an Italian luxury brand known for its exquisite jewelry, watches, fragrances, and accessories. Founded in Rome in 1884, the company combines traditional craftsmanship with contemporary design, creating iconic pieces that celebrate beauty, art, and culture.
The company also owns renowned champagne and spirits brands such as:
- Moët & Chandon: Established in 1743, Moët & Chandon is a renowned French winery and a symbol of luxury, known for its exquisite champagne. With a perfect blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier, Moët Impérial Brut offers a bright fruitiness, seductive palate, and elegant maturity, revealing aromas of pear, citrus, and brioche.
- Veuve Clicquot: Founded in 1772, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin is one of the largest Champagne houses based in Reims. Its signature Yellow Label Brut is characterized by a fine persistent sparkle, golden color, and complex nose of apple, citrus, and caramel, followed by full flavors with elegance, crispness, and a slightly spicy finish.
- Krug: Krug is a prestigious Champagne house known for its richly aromatic and multi-faceted flavors that dance across the palate. With a core of firm acidity and a very fine mousse, Krug’s champagnes offer notes of grilled nuts, honey, toasted brioche, and dark red fruits, making it a truly luxurious experience.
- Dom Pérignon: Dom Pérignon is a vintage-only champagne crafted from the finest grapes grown in a single year. Predominantly made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this exceptional Champagne features notes of toast, coffee, vanilla, and cream, along with faint hints of spices. As it ages, it develops matured toasted notes and aromas of almonds.
- Maison Ruinart: Maison Ruinart is the oldest established Champagne house, founded in 1729. Known for its distinctive, elegant, and refined champagnes, Ruinart’s offerings are characterized by their delicate balance of fruity and floral notes, with a subtle complexity that reflects the house’s rich heritage and expertise in winemaking.
- Hennessy: Hennessy is a world-famous cognac producer founded in 1765. As part of the luxury goods company LVMH, Hennessy is known for its exceptional quality and craftsmanship. With a range of offerings from its classic VS to the exclusive Paradis Impérial, Hennessy’s cognacs are celebrated for their rich, smooth flavors and unparalleled refinement.
LVMH’s acquisition history is quite impressive, with some notable examples being the $13.1 billion deal for Christian Dior and the launch of Fenty Brands in partnership with pop star Rihanna. However, it is important to note that LVMH does not own Gucci, which is owned by its rival, Kering. In addition to its extensive collection of luxury brands, LVMH also owns French newspaper Le Parisien and the famous department store Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche. The company has shown a keen interest in expanding its portfolio, as evidenced by its recent acquisition of jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co.
KERING: Kering is another prominent player in the luxury fashion industry, with a strong focus on high-end fashion brands. Kering’s portfolio includes a diverse range of renowned fashion and leather goods houses, each known for their exceptional craftsmanship, distinctive creativity, and unique character. These brands have made a significant impact on the world of fashion and continue to shape the industry with their innovative designs and iconic styles. Kering has been successful in maintaining its position as a leading luxury fashion corporation through strategic acquisitions and partnerships.
The list of Kering’s fashion brands includes:
- Gucci: Founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci in Florence, Italy, Gucci has become a symbol of Italian luxury and is known for its high-quality leather goods, apparel, and accessories.
- Saint Laurent: Acquired by Kering in 1999, this legendary French fashion house was founded by Yves Saint Laurent and has been synonymous with elegance, sophistication, and innovation.
- Bottega Veneta: An Italian luxury brand acquired by Kering in 2001, Bottega Veneta is renowned for its exquisite leather goods, particularly its signature intrecciato woven leather technique.
- Balenciaga: Founded by Cristóbal Balenciaga in Spain, this iconic luxury fashion house was acquired by Kering in 2001. Balenciaga is known for its avant-garde designs and influential styles that have shaped the fashion industry.
- Alexander McQueen: Established by British designer Lee Alexander McQueen, this fashion house is celebrated for its conceptual designs and strong identity. Kering signed a partnership agreement with Alexander McQueen in 2004.
- Brioni: An Italian menswear luxury house based in Rome, Brioni specializes in sartorial ready-to-wear, leather goods, shoes, eyewear, and fragrance. Kering acquired Brioni in 2012.
In addition to these fashion brands, Kering also owns several luxury jewelry and eyewear brands, such as Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, Qeelin, and Kering Eyewear.
PVH CORP: PVH Corp., formerly known as Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation, is an American clothing company with a diverse portfolio of brands, including Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Van Heusen, and IZOD. PVH has grown to become one of the largest global apparel companies, with a strong presence in the luxury fashion segment.
The Power of PVH is fueled by its people and its iconic brands, which include:
- Calvin Klein: One of the world’s leading global fashion lifestyle brands, Calvin Klein is known for its bold, non-conformist ideals. The brand encompasses various sub-brands such as CK Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans, Calvin Klein Underwear, and Calvin Klein Performance, all connected by the intention and purpose of elevating everyday essentials to globally iconic status.
- Tommy Hilfiger: An American clothing brand that manufactures apparel, footwear, accessories, fragrances, and home furnishings. Tommy Hilfiger, also known as Tommy Hilfiger Corporation and Tommy Hilfiger Inc., has become synonymous with classic American style and preppy designs.
- Warner’s: A well-known brand specializing in women’s lingerie, offering comfortable and stylish bras, panties, and shapewear. 4. Olga by Warner’s: A sub-brand under Warner’s, Olga by Warner’s focuses on providing comfortable and supportive lingerie for full-figured women.
- True&Co: A brand dedicated to creating innovative and comfortable bras, underwear, and loungewear for women, using data-driven design and customer feedback to create the perfect fit. These five iconic brands, along with 27,000 associates around the world, bring the Power of PVH to life.
Estée Lauder Companies: Estée Lauder Companies founded by female entrepreneur Estée Lauder, is a leading multinational cosmetics company that owns a diverse portfolio of brands. These brands are sold in approximately 150 countries and territories, offering a wide range of makeup, skincare, fragrance, and hair care products.
The conglomerate brand list of Estée Lauder Companies includes:
- Estée Lauder: A prestigious cosmetics company founded by iconic American entrepreneur Estée Lauder, offering high-quality skincare, makeup, fragrance, and hair care products.
- Aramis: A brand specializing in men’s grooming products, including fragrances, skincare, and shaving essentials.
- Clinique: A dermatologist-developed skincare and cosmetics brand known for its allergy-tested and fragrance-free products.
- Lab Series: A high-performance skincare line specifically designed for men, offering advanced solutions for various skin concerns.
- Origins: A brand focused on natural, plant-based skincare and cosmetics, emphasizing sustainability and eco-friendly practices.
- M·A·C (Makeup Art Cosmetics): A professional makeup brand offering a wide range of innovative and high-quality products for all ages, races, and genders.
- La Mer: A luxury skincare brand known for its signature Miracle Broth™, which harnesses the healing power of the sea to rejuvenate and transform the skin.
- Bobbi Brown Cosmetics: A cosmetics brand founded by makeup artist Bobbi Brown, offering a range of makeup and skincare products that enhance natural beauty.
- Aveda: A leading high-performance, plant-based hair and skin care brand, committed to caring for the whole person while promoting sustainability.
- Jo Malone London: A British fragrance house known for its elegant scents, luxurious candles, and indulgent bath and body products.
- Bumble and bumble: A hair care brand offering innovative styling products and cutting-edge hair treatments, popular among professional stylists and consumers alike.
- Darphin Paris: A French skincare brand that combines botanical ingredients with advanced technology to create luxurious, sensorial products.
- TOM FORD Beauty: A luxury beauty brand offering high-end makeup, skincare, and fragrances, created by renowned fashion designer Tom Ford.
- Smashbox: A cosmetics brand born in a Los Angeles photo studio, known for its long-lasting makeup products designed to withstand the demands of a photoshoot.
- AERIN Beauty: A luxury lifestyle and beauty brand created by Aerin Lauder, offering a curated collection of fragrances, cosmetics, and home accessories.
- Le Labo: A niche fragrance brand that crafts unique, hand-blended scents using high-quality ingredients and a focus on craftsmanship.
- Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle: A prestigious fragrance house founded by renowned perfumer Frédéric Malle, showcasing the artistry of some of the world’s most talented perfumers.
- Dr.Jart+: A Korean skincare brand that combines science and art to create innovative, effective products for various skin concerns.
- 19. Too Faced: A playful cosmetics brand known for its plumping products, including the iconic Lip Injection Lip Plumper, as well as a wide range of makeup offerings.
These brands cater to different segments of the market, offering high-quality and innovative products that reflect each brand’s distinctive identity and purpose. Estée Lauder Companies leverages its global distribution, creative resources, and operational expertise across all its brands to maintain its leadership position in the cosmetics industry.
RICHEMONT: Richemont is a Switzerland-based luxury goods holding company with a focus on jewelry, watches, and writing instruments. The Richemont conglomerate is a renowned luxury goods company that owns a prestigious portfolio of Maisons, known for their excellence in jewelry, watches, fashion, and accessories. These brands are celebrated for their distinctive heritage, craftsmanship, and creativity.
The majority shareholder of Richemont is Compagnie Financière Rupert, which holds 522,000,000 Richemont B registered shares. Headquartered in Paris, Cartier is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Swiss Richemont Group.
Richemont’s impressive list of brands includes:
- Cartier: A French luxury goods brand known for designing and manufacturing high-end watches and jewelry, Cartier is synonymous with creativity, freedom, sharing, and excellence.
- A. Lange & Söhne: A German manufacturer of luxury and prestige watches, founded by Ferdinand Adolph Lange in 1845, known for its exquisite craftsmanship and beautifully decorated timepieces.
- Azzedine Alaïa: A Tunisian-born couturier and shoe designer, renowned for his sculptural, body-conscious designs that celebrate the female form.
- Baume & Mercier: A Swiss luxury watchmaker founded in 1830, known for creating elegant and timeless timepieces with a focus on precision and reliability.
- Buccellati: An Italian jewelry and watch company, famous for its intricate, handcrafted designs inspired by Renaissance art and nature.
- Chloé: A French fashion house established in 1952, known for its feminine, romantic, and effortlessly chic clothing and accessories.
- Dunhill: A British luxury goods brand specializing in men’s clothing, leather goods, and accessories, with a heritage of craftsmanship and innovation.
- IWC Schaffhausen: A Swiss luxury watch manufacturer founded in 1868, known for its innovative engineering, timeless design, and commitment to sustainability.
- Giampiero Bodino: An Italian jewelry designer who creates unique, artistic pieces that combine traditional craftsmanship with contemporary design.
- Jaeger-LeCoultre: A Swiss luxury watch and clock manufacturer, renowned for its technical expertise, innovative complications, and elegant designs.
- Montblanc: A German luxury brand specializing in writing instruments, watches, leather goods, and accessories, known for its iconic Meisterstück fountain pen.
- Officine Panerai: An Italian luxury watchmaker, famous for its bold, distinctive designs and strong connection to the world of diving and maritime exploration.
- Piaget: A Swiss luxury watch and jewelry brand, known for its ultra-thin movements, elegant designs, and exceptional gem-setting expertise.
- Peter Millar: An American lifestyle brand offering luxury menswear, womenswear, and accessories, known for its sophisticated style and attention to detail.
- Purdey: A British gunmaker established in 1814, specializing in bespoke shotguns and rifles, as well as luxury clothing and accessories for the field sports enthusiast.
- Roger Dubuis: A Swiss luxury watch manufacturer, known for its avant-garde designs, innovative complications, and commitment to the highest standards of watchmaking.
- Vacheron Constantin: The world’s oldest continuously operating Swiss watchmaker, founded in 1755, known for its exceptional craftsmanship, technical mastery, and elegant designs.
- Van Cleef & Arpels: A French luxury jewelry, watch, and perfume company, renowned for its exquisite, nature-inspired designs and innovative gem-setting techniques.
- Delvaux: Founded in Brussels in 1829, Delvaux is the oldest fine leather goods house in the world, known for inventing the modern handbag and crafting luxurious accessories.
Richemont has also expanded into the online luxury fashion retail space through its acquisition of NET-A-PORTER.COM, which later merged with YOOX Group.
PRADA: The Prada Group is an Italian luxury fashion house specializing in leather handbags, travel accessories, shoes, ready-to-wear, perfumes, and other fashion accessories. Founded in 1913 by Mario Prada, the group now includes brands such as Prada, Miu Miu, Car Shoe, and Church’s. The Prada Group operates in more than 70 countries through a network of 612 stores, e-commerce channels, selected e-tailers, and department stores.
The most prominent fashion brands owned by the Prada Group include:
- Prada: Founded in 1913 by Mario Prada, this Italian luxury fashion house specializes in leather handbags, travel accessories, shoes, ready-to-wear, and other fashion accessories. Prada is synonymous with luxury goods and has consistently ranked among the top luxury brands in the world.
- Miu Miu: Named after Miuccia Prada, Miu Miu is a subsidiary company of the Prada Group. This brand caters to a younger audience and offers a more playful and experimental approach to fashion. Miu Miu has gained significant popularity over the years and has even reached the second spot in the Lyst Index’s ranking of the hottest brands.
- Church’s: A British footwear brand known for its high-quality, handmade shoes, Church’s has been a part of the Prada Group since 1999. The brand’s timeless designs and exceptional craftsmanship have made it a favorite among discerning customers worldwide.
- Car Shoe: Acquired by the Prada Group in 2001, Car Shoe is an Italian brand specializing in driving shoes. The brand’s signature rubber-studded soles and luxurious materials have made it a popular choice for those seeking both style and comfort.
- Pasticceria Marchesi: Established in 1824, this historic Italian pastry shop was acquired by the Prada Group in 2014. Pasticceria Marchesi is known for its delicious pastries, chocolates, and other confections, making it a delightful addition to the group’s portfolio.
- Luna Rossa: This brand is associated with the Prada Group’s involvement in the world of sailing and the America’s Cup. Luna Rossa represents the group’s commitment to innovation, technology, and excellence in sports.
LUXOTTICA GROUP: Luxottica Group is a renowned luxury conglomerate specializing in the eyewear industry. As a vertically integrated company, Luxottica designs, manufactures, distributes, and retails its eyewear brands, making it a dominant force in the market. The group’s extensive portfolio comprises over 20 licensed brands, including some of the most prestigious names in fashion and luxury.
Among Luxottica’s proprietary brands are:
- Ray-Ban: Founded in 1936, Ray-Ban is an American-Italian luxury brand of sunglasses and eyeglasses known for its iconic Wayfarer and Aviator styles. The brand focuses on protection and safety, with durable frames and lenses designed to resist scratches and breakage while providing clear vision.
- Oakley: Established in 1975, Oakley is an American company specializing in high-performance eyewear, including sunglasses and goggles, as well as sports equipment and lifestyle products. Known for their innovative designs and patented technologies, Oakley offers a wide range of products for various sports and outdoor activities.
- Vogue Eyewear: Launched in 1973, Vogue Eyewear is a fashionable glasses brand that offers contemporary styles of sunglasses and optical frames. Acquired by Luxottica in 1990, the brand focuses on trends and provides a variety of shapes and sizes to cater to diverse style preferences.
- Persol: An Italian luxury eyewear brand founded in 1917, Persol is known for its timeless designs and high-quality craftsmanship. With a focus on comfort and durability, Persol sunglasses and eyeglasses feature unique details such as the patented Meflecto system, which provides flexibility and adaptability to individual face shapes.
- Oliver Peoples: Established in 1987, Oliver Peoples is a high-end fashion eyewear brand offering sophisticated and distinctive designs. Known for their vintage-inspired frames and attention to detail, Oliver Peoples sunglasses and eyeglasses are handcrafted using premium materials and artisanal techniques.
- Arnette: Founded in 1992, Arnette is a youth-oriented eyewear brand that offers affordable and stylish sunglasses and prescription eyewear. With a focus on sports and active lifestyles, Arnette’s designs are characterized by bold colors, innovative materials, and functional features.
- Costa del Mar: Created in 1983, Costa del Mar is an American brand specializing in polarized sunglasses designed for water sports and outdoor enthusiasts. Known for their advanced lens technology and durable frames, Costa sunglasses provide superior clarity, protection, and comfort in various light conditions.
- Alain Mikli: Established in 1978, Alain Mikli is a French luxury eyewear brand known for its avant-garde designs and bold color combinations. With a focus on creativity and individuality, Alain Mikli sunglasses and eyeglasses are handcrafted using innovative materials and techniques to ensure exceptional quality and style.
These brands have established themselves as leaders in the eyewear industry, offering a diverse range of styles and designs to cater to various consumer preferences. In addition to its own brands, Luxottica also holds licenses for several high-end designer brands. These include Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Bulgari, Chanel, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, Ferrari, Michael Kors, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co., and Valentino. By partnering with these luxury brands, Luxottica has expanded its reach and solidified its position as a key player in the global eyewear market.
Despite its success, Luxottica faces competition from other eyewear companies such as Fielmann AG, Safilo Group SpA, De Rigo Vision SpA, and Marcolin SpA. However, Luxottica’s extensive brand portfolio and strong retail presence through Sunglass Hut, Lenscrafters, and Oliver Peoples give it a competitive edge in the industry.
These corporations have managed to maintain their positions as major players in the luxury fashion industry through strategic acquisitions, partnerships, and a keen understanding of the market. By diversifying their portfolios and investing in various segments within the luxury market, these companies have ensured their continued success and growth in the ever-evolving world of fashion.
Jeanel has 15 years of retail, marketing and brand management experience. She has started an ecommerce business in 2019, after working in corporate retail and real estate as a senior managing director and former consultant. She's traveled all over the world, speaks at world renowned trade shows and events, holds a Bachelor’s of Commerce (B.Comm) and a Certificate in Commercial Real Estate. You can connect with her on Linkedin.